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elena maria vidal

Barbara Tuchman's "A Distant Mirror" is indeed an excellent book, showing how the calamities of the 14th century mirrored those of the 20th century, on a much smaller scale of course.

It is sad that the exploitations of pornography and prostitution are seen as acceptable and normal behavior. The respect that men should have for women (and the respect they should have for themselves)is lessened by such aberrations.

Amy Proctor

Our Catholic military parish had a drive recently in which we petitioned GEN Caldwell here at Ft. Leavenworth (who took GEN Petraeus' place) to remove porn on post at the Shoppettes and PX. Ironically, the so-called Army Family Covenant took place a couple months ago and porn is completely incompatible with the Army family.

If soldiers want to be slime, they should have to go off post to be slime. The military should not be accomodating "lewd men of the baser sort" and feign an Army Family Covenant.

I'm going to contact my representatives and ask them to support this legislation. Thanks for pointing it out. There is no productive place for pornography in the military and at best it complicates the co-ed nature of our armed forces.


How sad that some of the staunchest defenders of pornography and prostitution are women. They undermine the efforts of those women who protest that such are an offense against femininity.

It seems to me as if the army at least has already by and large given up the fight to promote honor and chivalry and the warrior cult. The widespread presence of pornography is just one more indicator. I wonder if the heart of the fight wasn't lost when women started fighting alongside men.

As you say, the mainstreaming of pornography is very discouraging. How to even begin to combat the onslaught? I wish I had some words of wisdom to offer or even better some practical strategies to suggest.

It does seem that it's not enough to denounce pornography's evils, (and the related evils of prostitution and contraception) we must offer a positive vision. Here it seems the true hope is in continuing to mine the wisdom of the theology of the body which offers a beautiful vision of the sanctity of the body.

Amy Proctor

MelanieB is right; pornography has been mainstreamed. We see it in how marketers target the little girl demographic, in commericals and music videos. Disney and Nicolodian are guilty, as are the parents who let their children watch those subversive programs.

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    • From Benedict XVI
      “People have realized that the complete removal of the feminine element from the Christian message is a shortcoming from an anthropological viewpoint. It is theologically and anthropologically important for woman to be at the center of Christianity."
    • Anger and Patrimony (from Donna)
      This is just another of the unintended consequences of the cultural acceptance of contraception and abortion! Men's sexuality has been robbed of its creative essence. It is now viewed as something that imposes a burden on women (when conception happens to occur), something used to control women or something that is purely recreational. Why would men bother?? In taking away their responsibility, we've also robbed them of their significance! In the big picture of humanity, men have been made into nothing more than a nuisance women have to figure out how to control in order to bring about the next generation. Men don't see it as their task to protect the vulnerable because they see themselves as the vulnerable ones. A few well preserved vials of sperm would make men entirely obsolete in the world's ethos today!!
    • Excellent, Dom! (from Teresa)
      That is astounding Robin, and good for you for standing up. At the heart of that matter, I think, is even worse than a gender mixing message. There is an increased sharper and sharper focus on the "self." Solid Catholic teaching returns our focus away from ourselves to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The original sin, Eve denied her womanhood when she desired to be like "gods." Since the only god she knew was the Father. Where was Adam? He stood impotent... in other words, they were divorced. There's a young girl at Robin's son's high school who was just told that she is the center of the universe and it's a tragic disservice to her.
    • Find the logic (from "me")
      Ditto what Mary said! A lot of high schools have very poor math and science depts, for boys and girls. I also am educated as a chemical engineer, but chose to teach the two years before we had children because its hours were more suited to spending time with children. (I was looking ahead). When it came time and I was pregnant with our first, I realized that I did not want to leave him with someone else, and was able to stay home full time. I am not sure it would have been that easy if we were used to another engineering income and not just a private school teacher income. Also some of my first job offers were out on oil rigs - I had no interest in that at all even though I enjoyed my engineering classes and did well in them. No one discouraged me from an engineering job, on the contrary I got a lot of flack for my decision not to pursue an engineering career.
    • Find the logic (from Mary)
      I've been lurking, but this is one that irritates me. Beats the heck out of me what these "barriers" are. I was educated as a chemical engineer, where 1/3 of our class was women. However, in electrical engineering, only 1 or 2 out of 30 were women. Is it possible that women are Just Not Interested in some areas? Nah, it must be The Man keeping us down so we must legislate (and, I agree -- when they say "legistlate", I hear "quota"). And actually, I have a friend that was also a chemical engineer. When she lost her job, she decided not to go back into engineering and started working from home so she could spend more time with her 3 kids. Also, if nothing else, there are all kinds of incentives for women to enter science and engineering -- scholarships not available to men, guaranteed housing on campuses that do not guarantee housing to the general population, etc. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that schools in general are not preparing students for the hard sciences. It is truly a sad state of affairs, the lack of science education these days.

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